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Opening Arguments in Second Brown's Chicken Murder Trials Today

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Aug 31, 2009 2:20PM

With jury selection all wrapped up, opening arguments are set for today in the trial of James Degorski, the second man accused of murdering seven people at a Palatine Brown's Chicken restaurant in January 1993. The victims were Lynn and Richard Ehlenfeldt, owners of the restaurant, and five of their employees: Guadalupe Maldonado, Thomas Mennes, Marcus Nellsen, Rico Solis and Michael Castro. The victims' bodies were piled in a cooler and freezer while less than $2,000 was taken from the restaurant. The first suspect, Juan Luna, was tried in 2007 and found guilty on all seven counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison. While Luna confessed and even named Degorski in the confession, jurors won't be hearing that tape at trial. The big break in the case came in 2002 when Degorski's then girlfriend, Anne Lockett, finally gave in and told police Degorski had admitted committing the shootings to her. The Daily Herald has an extensive archive of stories on the murders.